The One About the Secret to Success

A week into my new job, my boss took me out to lunch.

She looked me straight in the eyes and said, “I’m going to be straight with you. I’m not going to be watching to see if you come in late or how long you take for lunch. You’re an adult and I’m not your mother. This job is 90% just showing up. Just show up and do the work. If you can do that, you’ll be fine.”


“And don’t go crazy like the last one did.”

Sixteen years have gone by since that lunch and while I still don’t know what drove the last one crazy, those words still resonate within me.

90% of the job is just showing up.

And that includes the Writing Biz.

I hate to be the one to pop the bubble but here is the truth, cold and hard:

  • There is no magic pen.
  • There is no magic candle.
  • There is no magic liquor that will make the words come faster.
  • There magic spray that entices the Muse to come and visit.
  • There is no magical Spotify playlist that will guarantee a bestseller.

The only magic is the Work. Sitting your ass down in a chair and Do the Work.

Sometimes you will hit a vein and the rush will take you deep into the night, hours dissolving, and you’ll forget to eat. Some days, the Work is like trying to carve cold marble with a limp dick. Some of your stories will hit. Sometimes, your story won’t get the recognition it deserves.

In the end, it’s all about Showing Up to do the Work.

And, hopefully, not going crazy.

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